The Best TV Title Sequences Of 2022, Ranked

For a while, it seemed like title sequences were a dying art form. Throughout the 2010s, shows seemed to fall largely into two opening credits categories: slow, moving close-ups of pieces of a thing that led to a final zoom out (see: "Game of Thrones," "Westworld," "The Crown"), or a quick, unadorned shot of a title card that makes viewers feel nothing at all. TV seemed to relish telling us as little as possible about the series at hand before it's actually begun, forgoing a decades-old tradition in mood setting to instead cut straight to the action.

Luckily, though, the title sequence seems to be making a comeback. In 2022, title sequences got creative in ways that blended the familiar (animated title sequences, throwback musical numbers) with the trendy (brief opening titles that change with every episode). The result is a great year for TV fans — and anyone who loves to get a good jingle stuck in their head.

Below, we run through the best new title sequences of the year. Emphasis on the word "new": for the sake of rewarding the best of 2022 specifically, this list is exclusively for either first-season shows, or returning shows that switched up their credits (either opening or closing) in their latest episodes. That means that as much as I bow down to the intros for "Tuca & Bertie," "P-Valley," "Girls5eva," "What We Do in the Shadows," and "Only Murders in the Building," this list isn't for them. It is, however, for all the shows whose new intros or end credits surprised, delighted, intrigued, or amazed us in 2022.

15. She-Hulk: Attorney At Law

The first season of "She-Hulk: Attorney at Law" featured less actual lawyering than fans of the character may have expected, but its end credits still paid homage to Tatiana Maslany's superpowered attorney with courtroom sketch-inspired sign-offs. These comedic, colorful sketches illustrated by Kagen McLeod and cooked up by the team at ASPECT often doubled as potential deleted scenes, starting with She-Hulk in the courtroom before going off book to reimagine moments from the week — like Jen explaining a flow chart about Captain America's virginity to her cousin Bruce (Mark Ruffalo). The "She-Hulk" end credits scenes also feature an array of sunny pop and hip-hop needle drops from artists like YONAKA, Tove Styrke, and even Eve.

14. Willow

In general, Disney+ shows don't seem to be too concerned about opening titles, but they're go big or go home when it comes to end credits. Jonathan Kasdan's super-entertaining "Willow" sequel series has some of the best of the bunch to date. The episodes typically end with a striking, meaningful, or sometimes even funny shot that suddenly turns into an illustration that gives the impression of watercolor on parchment. This smash cut is more often than not accompanied by a totally unexpected music choice, like Sir Jude's cover of "Hurdy Gurdy Man" or Beginners & Night Panda's "Guess Who's Back." The end titles, which go on to include watercolor-like portraits of the cast, are polarizing, but they're perfectly fitting for a show that's at once a visually sumptuous fantasy and an irreverent, hip comedy.

13. Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities

The 62-second intro to Guillermo del Toro's horror anthology series takes what's become a boring trope in the world of opening credits — small CGI parts of a thing are shown, with the last shot revealing what the object has been all along — and turns it on its head. The credits end on a shot of a shelf of texts locked away in the mysterious titular cabinet, sure, but the composition of those texts is anything but boring. Skulls swirl around and gather by the hundreds into a whirlwind of circular movement. Images bend and mirror one another, slowing down and then speeding up. We see a series of mystical artifacts, including a sphinx-like machine, a mummified mermaid, and a skeletal hand emblazoned with a strange symbol. All of it is underscored by the tension-filled yet dazzling sound of strings in a soundtrack piece put together by composer Holly Amber Church.

12. Attack on Titan

Does anything indicate that s*** is about to get real quite like a theme song that would sound perfect blasting from the mall speakers of a Hot Topic? "Attack on Titan," the popular anime that follows a group of people trying to save the world from monstrous Titans, underscored the seriousness of its final season this year with the help of the Japanese metal band SiM. Their song "The Rumbling" lays the groundwork for a no-holds-barred intro that's appropriately apocalyptic. "Rumbling! Rumbling! It's coming, rumbling! Rumbling!" the group sings over footage of flayed monsters wreaking carnage. "Rumbling" is the kind of song that sounds overwhelming the first time you hear it, but once you get used to it, you'll want it on repeat. Its intensity is also an extremely appropriate fit for the show as it enters its action-packed endgame.

11. Abbott Elementary

Everything about "Abbott Elementary" feels like Quinta Brunson purposely and skillfully building a new sitcom classic, including its brief but memorable theme song. The mockumentary comedy about a group of overworked teachers at a Philadelphia public school starts each episode as if it's a school day, with a short clip that shows the series title stitched onto one student's backpack. As the girl runs to join her friends, we see a colorful mural on the side of Willard R. Abbott Public School, and when the camera zooms out, Brunson's name appears on the schoolhouse wall. A jazzy, optimistic beat accompanies the gaggle of kids as they head to class. It's simple, classic, and delightful.

10. The Afterparty

The creative and casually spectacular animated opening for Christopher Miller and Phil Lord's murder mystery "The Afterparty" earned a spot on my "never click skip intro" list the first time I saw them. The 48-second intro is in many ways nothing like the kooky, multi-POV show it represents, yet it captures elements of each perspective perfectly with its color block sequence. The angular scene is always moving, with blood that transforms into a crime scene outline, then a bench on which a pair of lovers meet, then freeway stripes, and piano keys. These multi-purpose blocks cleverly morph throughout the credits, dropping subtle hints about what's to come in the series and looking cool as hell all the while. Daniel Pemberton's inquisitive score accompanies every visual twist and turn.

9. The White Lotus

The music of "The White Lotus" season 1 stuck out like a sore thumb on purpose, and while Cristobal Tapia de Veer's score to Mike White's vacation-set satire took it down a notch in season 2, the theme song still kept the frantic energy. The Sicily-set chapters open rather calmly, with an enchanted musical arrangement set over a series of art pieces that are meant to look centuries-old. But as the credits continue for close to two minutes, the art gets stranger (is that a monkey riding a goat? And a man breastfeeding?) and the music is interrupted by chirpy, ululating vocals. It's a sequence that somehow calls to mind both comfort and unease, as quick pans and zooms across the art draw our attention to various details that may or may not matter at all.

8. Evil

Robert and Michelle King shows know how to make an entrance. For years, "The Good Fight" opened its story of legal and political surreality with shots of exploding objects accompanied by David Buckley's gorgeous score. This year, that show bowed out for good, but the pair upped the ante with a new intro for their other series, the wonderfully trippy modern horror story "Evil." Buckley's score once again accompanies visually striking shots of objects, only this time, his string instruments evoke a sense of both beauty and dread. The objects we see on screen aren't much more comforting, but they are indelible: hands that drip black, bloody pickaxes flung into walls, rosaries swallowed whole by white liquid. It's a fitting theme song for one of television's most unique and ambitious shows.

7. Our Flag Means Death

The pirate rom-com "Our Flag Means Death" forgoes a traditional theme song, but what it gives us might be even more creative. Each episode of the series' first season incorporates the show's title briefly into a shot that's relevant to the episode or to seafaring life, carving it into a corpse's chest in one episode and projecting it on a full moon in the next. "Atlanta" has used a similar gimmick for years, but the title cards for "Our Flag Means Death" are often endearingly handmade, as when the words are spelled out in kelp that's quickly washed away by an ocean wave. These designs aren't just clever: they also fit into the show's surprisingly wholesome ethos. It's easy to imagine Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby) and his crew artfully arranging some trinkets into words before storytelling hour and after they finish designing their own flags.

6. Yellowjackets

"It was cool, nothing fire, nothing broke," Anna Waronker promises at the beginning of the "Yellowjackets" theme song, "No Return." It's a fantastic, '90s-flavored grunge track that would probably blow up the alt rock charts if released as a single. Musician Waronker made the track with Craig Wedren, and the pair's real-life rock creds (the former is in the band That Dog while the latter sung for Shudder To Think) helped influence a sound that Wedren told Pitchfork "needed that punishing beat underneath." It's fitting for a show about teen girl cannibals, and the theme song's glitchy VHS-style visuals are just as perfect. "No return, no return, no reason," Waronker wails ominously as the punchy intro comes to a close.

5. Better Call Saul

The "Better Call Saul" opening titles have been slowly morphing for seasons now, but in the show's final stretch, the VHS-tape ad footage started to feel like a garish omen of things to come. Each episode of the new season distorts and shortens the theme further, giving the impression of a well-worn tape that's about to run out — just like Jimmy's (Bob Odenkirk) time, maybe? We still get snippets of the great Little Barrie theme tune, until at some point, we don't, and are left with the ominous blue screen of a stopped recording. Thankfully, it turns out that it's not Jimmy's time that ran out, but Saul's.

4. Peacemaker

I'll just say it: more opening credits need to make their entire casts dance. James Gunn's "Peacemaker" knows exactly what the DC universe — and TV as a whole — was missing, and it turns out it was a wacky intro that features heroes and villains alike getting down to Wig Wam's "Do You Want To Taste It?" Lest we worry that this show would follow in the footsteps of DC's too-serious stories of the past, the theme song manages to make us laugh early and often each time it comes up. Choreographer Charissa-Lee Barton told /Film that Gunn had a specific vision for the sequence, saying: "he wrote with very clear direction, they all do this weird dance with a straight face, no emotion." Simple, genius, hilarious.

3. Bad Sisters

The Apple TV+ dark comedy "Bad Sisters" is the kind of show that needs a theme song you can sing along to. The series about a very bad brother-in-law and the team of women who make it their life's mission to kill him can get pretty grim, but it's also a celebration of family and sisterhood. So it's only natural that the intro would marry those two moods, creating a credits sequence that's at once creepy and cathartic. The scene is basically a deadly Rube Goldberg machine, one that starts with a taxidermied badger losing an eye and ends with a book of matches burning a photo of the sociopathic man himself, JP (Claes Bang). Along the way, PJ Harvey croons a wonderfully atmospheric cover of Leonard Cohen's "Who By Fire."

2. Severance

The first season of "Severance" won the Emmy for Outstanding Main Title Design this year, and it's an award that was a no-brainer. Oliver Latta's introduction, scored by Theodore Shapiro, is designed to be at once terrifying and mundane, intriguing and bizarre. The first time I watched it, I recoiled, disturbed by the not-quite-human way the homonculus-like versions of Mark's (Adam Scott) innie and outie tripped their way through the day. But with each passing episode of the pristinely executed speculative fiction series, the mysterious and primally frightening imagery in the opening credits — like one Mark carrying a bushel of floating Marks like balloons, or black ooze leaking from trash cans and people — felt more and more thrilling and apt.

1. Pachinko

Say it with me this time: more theme songs need to make their entire casts dance! "Peacemaker" may have garnered more headlines this year for its unorthodox theme song, but one of the best intros of the year belongs to a totally different show that had a similar idea. In this Japanese-Korean family drama "Pachinko," characters don't exactly get a lot of chances to cut loose, but the joyous, playful introduction lets them do just that. As characters from multiple generations of the Baek family skip and twirl their way down the aisle of a colorful Pachinko parlor, the 1960s band The Grass Roots chirps a cover of "Let's Live For Today." "Sha-la-la-la-la-la, live for today!" they sing, "And don't worry 'bout tomorrow, hey, hey, hey!" According to Digital Spy, the introduction also includes real historical footage of Korean immigrants and childhood photos from the actors. "I want the titles to feel exuberant," series creator Soo Hugh told the outlet. Mission absolutely accomplished.